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Old 01-11-2007, 17:20   #1
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Storing Cheese

My wife and I are headed to the Exumas and we both love cheese. Does anyone have tips on storing cheese? What cheeses store the best?

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2007, 18:02   #2
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I had this in my boat unrefrigerated for about 3 weeks this Summer. It lasted very well.
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Old 01-11-2007, 18:36   #3
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Keeps forever in the fridge. By the way very good cheddar is available in the Bahamas at prices better than the States as it's one of the food items subsidized by the Bahamian government. We take wheels of brie and some of the stronger cheeses as they're not that available in the Bahamas.
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Old 01-11-2007, 18:38   #4
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Vacuum seal them very tight in portions just large enough to use up in a couple days. And keep them cool to touch or below.

This has worked very well for us at home. We buy cheese in one pound blocks, while on sale, and divide them into 1/4 # unites (vac sealed) and they'll last more them a month just out in the cool of the garage............_/)
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Old 02-11-2007, 13:44   #5
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I have tried some canned cheese, Keeps forever but tasts like silicon paste. The butter and other stuff is fine however
Canned Food
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Old 02-11-2007, 16:01   #6
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Quote:
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I have tried some canned cheese. Keeps forever but tastes like silicon paste. [emphasis added]
And you know this, how?

Will & Muffin - As you quote the late Julia Child, I thought I would add this cheese serving note:

Open all portholes when you cut the cheese.

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Old 03-11-2007, 19:48   #7
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Thats funny Tao, I can just hear the old girl saying that with straight face!
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Old 03-11-2007, 19:51   #8
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Any old time cook book or camping book will give you answers on this. Generally, a hard cheese or a cheese with a hard crust will keep well. (Once the crust is broken, you may have to make fast use of the cheese.) But with a hard cheese like an edam or cheddar, the typical way to keep it is by dipping it in wax or wrapping it in cheesecloth and then waxing it, which excluses the air and preserves it very nicely. Any moldy spots can be safely cut off, then you rinse the cheese with some vinegar to kill any other mold spores that may still be unseen on it (to prevent then from attacking the cheese).

Start off with "sealed" cheese, i.e. Edam, Gouda, Cheddar can all be bought waxed and sealed from the maker in large of small balls. Others like Swiss are available only in much larger wheels. But cheese that has been "cut down" in the store--no matter how clean the store is--inevitably goes bad faster, someone always handled the cheese, or the wrapper, or something, and it starts to mold faster than stuff sealed by the maker.

There are probably some good pages on this on the US Department of Agriculture web site--they used to publish all of this as an aid to farmers and homemakers, and have put most of it online. They're about as safe and reliable a source of food handling information as you can find.
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Old 11-11-2007, 12:36   #9
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We have had a lot of success with storing cheese in vegetable oils like sunflower oil. This keeps the air out. We slice the cheese into strips and store it in the oil in sealed containers. We have stored low grade cheddar cheese for over two years now, and it is still perfect. Just be careful of the mess at sea when removing the cheese! But the oil lost in the process can be used for cooking purposes if planned in advance.

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Old 14-11-2007, 09:33   #10
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Hmm, great advice. Does this work with other things?

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We have had a lot of success with storing cheese in vegetable oils like sunflower oil. This keeps the air out. We slice the cheese into strips and store it in the oil in sealed containers. We have stored low grade cheddar cheese for over two years now, and it is still perfect. Just be careful of the mess at sea when removing the cheese! But the oil lost in the process can be used for cooking purposes if planned in advance.

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Old 14-11-2007, 10:12   #11
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Lin Pardey, in her book "The Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew" offer several examples of storing cheese, as well as other provisions, for extended sails.

A book well worth it's purchase price.

Have a great trip!
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Old 16-11-2007, 05:13   #12
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Always re-wrap cheese in fresh wrapping, preferably in waxed or parchment paper, after the cheese has been opened to avoid having the cheese dry out or pick up other flavors. If cheese is wrapped in plastic, the wrapping should be changed every few days to allow the cheese to breathe, and to keep the cheese from becoming slimy or discolored.
The recommended temperature range for storing many cheeses is between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, at a high humidity level.
If cheeses other than fresh cheeses and blues have surpassed their expiration dates (imprinted on the packaging) or if the cheese develops a blue-green mold on the exterior, make a cut about a Ĺ inch below the mold to ensure that it has been entirely removed; the remaining cheese will be fine.

Butter at room temperature quickly turns rancid when exposed to oxygen, so the usual means of preserving it is to store it in the refrigerator. But all thatís really needed is to keep air away from the butter.

A French Butter Dish (or Butter Crock, or Butter Bell) does this by using water to form a seal between the butter and the air.
There are two parts to the dish: a smaller, bell- or cone-shaped piece that sits on a wide base, and a second, larger container.
You fill the bell up with butter, put water in the larger container, and invert the bell into the water. Because butter is basically an oil, it wonít mix with the water, and as long as itís not too hot, it will remain sticky enough to stay inside the bell.
You can keep this on your counter-top, so that butter is always available, without having to soften it.
Crocks keep butter fresh at room temperature (up to about 80̊ F) on the counter for several weeks without spoiling (at higher temperatures, the butter may slip out).
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Old 16-11-2007, 05:53   #13
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The wax covered cheeses (a full ball, not a wedge with exposed surfaces) will keep well for months unrefrigerated. The flavor strengthens but is still delicious. All you are doing is aging it a little more.

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Old 16-11-2007, 08:39   #14
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Great.... now all I can think about is Bahamian cheddar and coconut bread cheese toast!
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Old 16-11-2007, 12:41   #15
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Gord, instead of that french butter bell...couldn't you just fill a crock with butter and cover it with some olive oil, or water? And if the butter floats, stick a weight on it?

(No one-trick ponies allowed in my kitchen, not even French ones.<G>)
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